3V1065.1

3V1065.01 Past two months: PUPPY DOG: an invented game/role (12/22)

A quick scan of these notes shows no notice taken of something very
important to Peggy: she has created a game-role for herself, the
character “Puppy Dog.” This began months ago when, playing with
Scurry, Peggy fastened the leash to her collar and ran about the house.
Tolerant as she is, Scurry was hard pressed not to snap at Peggy’s rough
treatment of her. Thus I often tried to dissuade Peggy from attaching
the leash. Peggy was broken hearted. SHE liked playing with the leash.
Thus she came to invert roles, attaching the leash to her shirt collar
and crawling about, getting the older children to take her for a walk
whenever she could. Gradually, she extended her imitation, saying
“bark, bark” and even going so far as to sit in Scurry’s bed. (All too
often, she has given Scurry a “bones” dog treat — after eating the soft
and sweet center section herself.) One evening, after crawling around
on the floor with the leash on, emitting an occasional “bark,” Peggy
crawled into my lap. “We don’t let dogs up on the furniture,” I
complained. Peggy replied, “I’m not a DOG, I’m a PUPPY DOG.” My
sense of her meaning is that a “puppy dog” is not merely a young dog;
it is more particularly, in her case, a pretend-dog. She has argued
similarly (against my noting that dogs can’t talk) that Puppy Dogs can.
this imitation I see as Peggy entering imaginatively into the world of
same-sized, always available friend Scurry. to this point, Scurry is
Peggy’s only accessible peer.

This situation will change soon. I expect Peggy will go to the North
Guilford Nursery School soon — at or shortly after her third birthday.
She has been toilet trained for six months or so and is verbally
articulate when she wants to be so. I think she is really ready (and has
been for a long while) for play with coevals.

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